Pitt Women's Lacrosse
No. 2 Syracuse Dominates Pitt, 16-4
PITTSBURGH — The Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse team showcased why they’re the No. 2 ranked team in the country on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Pitt in a dominating fashion, 16-4. It was the ACC opening game for both teams. Pitt dropped to 2-2 on the season with the loss, while Syracuse improved to 4-0.
Syracuse out-shot Pitt, 39-16. Twenty-nine of Syracuse’s shots were on goal. Despite giving up 16 goals, Pitt goalie Hannah Van Middelem had an impressive 13 saves. Van Middelem is a graduate student who transferred from Syracuse.
“Obviously, not the finish that we wanted,” Pitt head coach Emily Boissonneault said about the 12-point loss. “Pretty slow in the first half, but we were really happy with the second half. I think it’s really hard to get kind of pushed down and to play from behind. Despite the fact that we didn’t chip away offensively, we held them to four goals in the second half. And to do that against one of, if not, the highest (powered) offenses (in the country), I think built a lot of our confidence. First ACC game, and this is where you learn a lot about your team. So, we’re happy to see us manage that second half really well.”
Pitt didn’t make any drastic changes at halftime to hold the Orange to just four goals in the second half. Boissonneault just told the team to play care-free.
“We talked a lot about just playing together and be willing to give everything,” Boissonneault said. “We have nothing to lose. So, play care-free and support each other. Don’t overthink it. Play hard and play with your instinct.”
Despite the Panthers scoring just four goals, Boissonneault was happy with the ball movement on offense. They just need to finish.
“We were actually really happy with our offensive movement. I think almost every time we had the ball on offense, we got a shot off. We need to finish,” Boissonneault said. “They have a great goaltender, one of the best in the country. When you play against someone like that you have to be ready to make the adjustment in your shooting. That’s where I would like to see the biggest difference in our offense. But, you know, we had seven people out there who played together for the first time. A lot of it is building that chemistry and I thought we saw some of that development today, and we are happy with that progression.”
Syracuse got on top quick with three early scores. Natalie Smith got things started for the No. 2 ranked Orange with a free position goal. Katelyn Mashewske followed with a shot from in the circle that went past Hannah Van Middelem. Meaghan Tyrrell had the assist. Meaghan’s sister, Emma, then buried a shot at the 12:54 mark.
After being held scoreless for over nine minutes, Syracuse struck again with a goal to extend its lead to 4-0. Meaghan Tyrrell put one past the pipes after being delivered a nifty feed by Savannah Sweitzer. Less than a minute later, Megan Carney scored on a free position shot to give the Orange a 5-0 lead. Pitt finally got on the scoreboard with 41 seconds remaining in the first period, as Oakland Catholic’s Emily Coughlin put one past Delaney Sweitzer. It was Coughlin’s third goal of the young season. Syracuse responded quick with a goal by Carney in transition to give the Orange a 6-1 lead to conclude the opening period.
Pitt’s Talia Zuco scored on a wrist shot to start the second period, which cut Syracuse’s lead to 6-2. The Orange answered with two quick goals, one by Sierra Cockerille and the other by Carney, the third of the afternoon for the graduate student out of McKinney, Texas.
Emma Tyrrell scored on a feed from her sister Meaghan Tyrrell to continue the Syracuse’s route on Pitt. Three more goals were added by the Orange to end the half, as they went into the break with a commanding 12-2 lead. Syracuse out-shot Pitt, 30-10, in the first half. Twenty-one of Syracuse’s shots were on goal compared to Pitt’s five. Syracuse was efficient with its ball movement, recording seven assists on its 12 goals. Syracuse also dominated in draw controls, winning 12 face offs. Megan Carney led Syracuse with four goals, while Emma Tyrrell had a hatrick.
Maddy Baxter extended Syracuse’s lead to to 13-2 at the 10:42 mark of the third period. Pitt finally scored again with 6:43 remaining in the third, thanks to a shot from in the circle by Sydney Naylor. It was Naylor’s sixth goal of the season. The Orange scored three more goals to reach a 16-3 lead with 4:12 remaining. Naylor scored on a shot from the top of circle to give Pitt its fourth goal of the game with just under two minutes left.
Pitt’s next game is against Canisius on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Highmark Stadium. Face-off is at 4 p.m.